Greedy Goblin

Monday, August 14, 2017

Hang two people to save 100M!

Sorry about another political post, but I'm kind of interested how could we avoid a nuclear war between North Korea and the USA, or at least limit its losses. I already wrote what could Japan and South Korea do to avoid mushroom clouds. Now I have an idea how could the whole war be avoided at the cost of executing two particularly evil people and imprisoning another 100-1000 for crimes against humanity.

At first, I'm absolutely sure that if a game changer doesn't appear, there will be a nuclear exchange between NORK and USA and people are dumb to downplay it. To see why the war is inevitable within the current framework, you have to understand that NORK will not give up its nuclear weapons and ICBMs while the USA won't tolerate their existence. Let's start with the NORK reasons:
  • Libya: this is the most overused, but still true reason. Libya did everything the USA and EU asked them to do about giving up weapons of mass destruction after the 2006 shift, didn't support any form of terrorism in the last decade, didn't run anti-West propaganda, didn't commit crimes against its people (by African standards) or did anything remotely bad. This made Gaddafi invited to various EU countries and became the buddy of the PM of Italy. Then out of the blue the USA and France started to arm "moderate rebels" (later turning out to be ISIS) and when it wasn't enough, bombed Gaddafi's army and finally killed him without any legal proceedings. NORK clearly made the conclusion that making amends to the USA just gets you killed.
  • Iraq: Iraq was invaded for having nuclear weapons that they didn't have. The conclusion is obvious: just because NORK gives up its nukes, it can be attacked for having the nukes they no longer have.
  • You don't want to mess with a 33 years old living god: this is a weird but important reason. NORK isn't a dime a dozen communist regime, it has several racist and tribal qualities with strong personality cult. Kim Jong Un is viewed as someone more than a man and followed without question. If you are a young person getting this kind of feedback ... well it doesn't help with making wise and modest decisions. While it's objectively impossible, NORK leadership can make itself believe that they can scare off the USA from attacking and eventually force them to accept NORK as an equal nuclear power to Russia and China. It also makes it completely impossible that NORK refrains from nuking US, Japanese and South Korean civilian cities if attacked by the USA. Expecting the last words of Kim to be anything else than "FIRE EVERYTHING!" is madness.
  • The USA looks pretty erratic now from the outside. Like blaming Russia for something that nobody done (the DNC mails were leaked, not hacked) and wouldn't be a big deal if it was true (everyone spies on everyone). I'm sure Kim has considered what would have happened if the first country that came Podesta's mind on the eve of election is not "Russia" but "North Korea". Also, what's happening between Trump and the Congress/Courts appear to open power struggle to everyone who doesn't have intimate knowledge about "checks and balances", like someone who grow up in a regime where showing not enough respect to the leader gets you executed with your family. It's not irrational to expect the US government and policies change overnight, including the decision to attack NORK.
  • Surrender isn't better than nuclear exchange: this is the crucial piece. Everything else can countered "they can't win or even survive a war against the USA, so if the USA wants to attack, their best course of action is surrender and hope for mercy". Unfortunately, the USA failed to build stable client states in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and so on. These countries didn't become stable pro-USA dictatorships where little guys can go on with their lives as long as they don't ask questions (good example: Chile under Pinochet or Iran under the Sah). These countries became failed states with headchopping madman ruling the population. The people became refugees or dead. The conclusion is that simply obeying every USA demand and accepting a puppet regime doesn't save the people. This makes the regime decide "if we are screwed anyway, let's screw them back" and make any coup impossible as coupists can't hope for saving the people even if they succeed in deposing Kim.
  • Because the strongest country after a nuclear exchange would be China, NORKs only friend. Not only the USA would lose millions of people, factories, offices, but the rest of the World would hate them for 100M dead (they can't hate NORK as they would be dead). Full scale embargo from everyone is quite possible. In this situation the world economy would center around China. This perspective gives Kim a "revenge from the grave" good feel: even if he knows that he and everyone he knows will die if he keeps on course, he can be sure that he changed the course of mankind, brought down a superpower and the future will be Chinese. He can easily see himself as Leonidas and NORK as the 300, sacrificing themselves for the greater good, striking a crippling blow into Persia-US. Remember, he is 33 and an egomaniac.
  • Finally: the USA didn't attack Russia or China no matter how bad the relations were, providing the conclusion that you can deter the USA with nukes (actually he can't but he can believe so).
OK, so we can agree that NORK will continue to build nukes and ICBMs. But why can't the USA just live with it, like they live with the Russian or Chinese nukes? Not like NORK would ever initiate an attack on the USA (unless believing that US attack is imminent):
  • Because Kim Jong Un is a 33 years old living god. Having an unhinged manchild being able to massacre Americans and allies at will is not acceptable to any reasonable man. He is no Brezhnev or Khrushchev with a vile but logical politbureau behind them. He can wake up one day and order a first strike for no good reason and his minions will obey without question. Every day he is not stopped he grows stronger, building more and better nukes and transport devices.
  • Because if he gets away with it, soon everyone else will have nukes. Both because they build it or because they buy it from Kim. This means that it's only matter of time before a terrorist puts his hands on a nuke.
  • Because it would be the end of "USA the superpower". If tiny NORK can effectively deter the USA than anyone can. The USA would be "just another rich country" with no more power or influence than France. This is not acceptable to the current US political class and even to a significant part of citizenry who believe in the "American Exceptionalism" (which is honestly not less crazy than "Kim the living god").
  • Because in the USA the military is worshiped. To assume that the US military isn't capable of anything, that they won't stop every NORK missile is closer to heresy than treason. The military reality is that NORK is surely able to kill tens of millions of South Koreans and Japanese along with about 100K Americans living there. They are most likely able to nuke and destroy with all hands at least one carrier battlegroup that goes 500km closer to NORK (which is needed to launch fighters). They can surely fire a few ICBMs to the US mainland or Hawaii or Alaska with decent possibility that the warheads survive reentry and the US missile defense fails (as it did more often than not during pre-planned tests). It is possible that Kim can pull a crazy stunt like sending a suicide submarine around the Globe to explode at the piers in New York or something. But even mentioning these facts is unacceptable in the USA, leading to people reassuring each other that "no matter what that madman does, the military will protect us". So the US decision makers will underestimate the costs.
  • Because NORK is underestimated. Just weeks ago people were laughing about NORK missiles exploding. My best guess is that they are getting help, most likely from Russia, because a nuclear exchange with NORK will strongly weaken the USA with no cost to Russia. It's possible that Kim has modern Russian ICBMs that can easily hit any USA city. This has no risk for Putin as Kim will surely not admit that he didn't do it all by himself and no allegations can be proved after the fact. Allegations before the war can't be proved either (if satellites see Russian launch vehicle, Putin can say it's a NORK copy that just looks as a launch vehicle but can't launch. Which can easily be true, Kim paraded lots of fake launch vehicles). Finally, even if the USA believes that Russia gave ICBMs to NORK, they must deny it, since claiming it would force them to initiate the end of mankind.
  • Because the USA is a democracy. This is weird, but a big problem here. Any politician trying to find a diplomatic solution can easily be labeled a traitor or a coward and replaced with a saber-ratter. Look what Susan Rice got for being reasonable first time in her life. Trump surely remembers that after he bombed Syria, he was presidential for a whole week, while for his normally Nobel Peace Prize worthy attempt to treat Russia as a partner instead of an enemy almost got him impeached.

How will the war start?
  • There is a possibility that the USA attempts a surprised "limited strike" due to overestimating its military which fails to take out the whole NORK arsenal, therefore gets nuclear retaliation.
  • The USA openly announces a limited strike declaring that they only take out the nuclear forces but have no intention to regime change, expecting Kim to just eat it like Assad. (he won't)
  • The USA starts to build up a huge conventional force in the region, either to attack or to serve as a deterrent. Either way, Kim concludes that it's a preparation for attack and choose to strike first while his forces are intact.
  • There is a communication outage due to Solar storm or major malfunction in NORK, some general interprets it as the USA is attacking and jamming communication and orders his troops to fire.
  • Some random soldier shoots over the border because he is drunk or gone mad or by accident. Someone shoots back. Then everyone starts shooting.
  • The economic sanctions actually work and Kim gets the report that "NORK will collapse in 10 days" to which he answers: prepare the army, we attack the USA in 9 days.
  • A coup or assassination attempt goes wrong and Kim gets pissed.

Anyway, this can't end any other way than about 100M people dead without a game changer. Now imagine that the USA could convince NORK that they won't attack if NORK gives up its nuclear weapons. Everyone would be happy and alive! Except they can't because of Iraq and Libya. How could they fix this? The answer is surprisingly simple: call them what they were, crimes against humanity and act accordingly. Ergo, declare that "the USA" didn't perform unprovoked aggression against two non-threatening, nuke-less countries, but a handful of evil criminals did. No one sane would claim that "the Germans will invade Europe again and gas the Jews", despite they did, because everyone knows that Hitler is a hated criminal among Germans.

Make no mistake, these were crimes against humanity. Making up nukes to invade a country is no better than dressing your troops as Polish and attack your own radio station. Attacking a country for no declared reasons is unprecedented in the modern history. If the perpetrators wouldn't be in the strongest country in the World, they would already serve their life sentence in Hague. Which is exactly what Trump should do. Declare the Iraq and Libya aggression crime against humanity and treason (they lied to the decision makers about the nukes to force a policy change) and imprison everyone involved, between 100 and 1000 people. Execute the two main perpetrators, Dick Cheney former VP and Hillary Clinton former SecState for being heads of conspiracies for crimes against humanity.

Then he can tell Kim "If you give up your nukes, you'll be safe, anyone who plots an aggression against you will hang next to these two" with credit. Kim could give up the nukes while declaring victory "I forced the US to stop being evil" (with some merit, Cheney and Clinton are evil).

The best part: since trials are on the court system, the congress can't mess with the process.

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree a limited mil strike would be stupid, and a full blown pre-emptive strike would start wwIII with china. I think the best solution is to impose massive sanctions on China and they will do the dirty work for the world. Something neat and interesting such as freezing all assets outside of china. China is like the mafia cut their slush funds and they will do what is the most pragmatic solutions: Axe Kim and get cash, or stand by kim and not get cash.

Hanura H'arasch said...

"and Hillary Clinton former SecState for being heads of conspiracies for crimes against humanity."

... and have the USA descend into civil war? I guess one could argue about the lesser of 2 evils, but that plan sounds terrible.

Alex said...

Nice. So, Kim and his surrounding did commit crimes against humanity while Putin and his surrounding did not. Chechnya, Georgia, Moldova, Crimea, Donbass is not enough? Will you accept his crimes against humanity only when Russian green men kick off HPR (Hungarian people's republic)... You better were writing about games.

maxim said...

This is certainly an out-of-the-box solution :)

However, that will replace war with Korea with what is essentially a civil war inside the USA. Trump would have to actually be Stalin to go through with this.

Look at the man, he is no Stalin.

And, leaving the man aside, it has been USA's strategy in the past century at a half at least to export their internal conflicts to external wars.

maxim said...

Also, Kim's victory in this process would have more substantial repercussions than you seem to think.
For example, it would essentially kill the argument that the Cold War proved that totalitarian socialist system is necessarily weaker or less stable than free market capitalist system. Because you see here that lil' totalitarian socialist Korea just owned USA and was a force for good in the process.

Heck, this would rather quickly result in Russia becoming USSR again. Something i don't actually wish to see as i grow older :(

Gevlon said...

@Anon: a nation with deficit trying economic sanctions against one with sufficit is an "interesting" idea.

@Hanura: what civil war? There are no PEOPLE on the side of "let's make more wars". Which group of people would rise for Hilary and Dick? Remember that other issues they championed could just get new champions, they aren't tied to Hillary or Dick!

@Alex: who questioned that Putin did some nasty stuff? How is it even related?

@Maxim: he doesn't have to be Stalin. The crimes of Hillary and Dick are crimes according to the current US laws, they were just not prosecuted.

Well, the age of external wars for the USA is over one way or another. If Kim is left alone, he'll soon start selling his nukes to anyone who can pay for them. Iran being their first buyer.

HarPer said...

"The best part: since trials are on the court system, the congress can't mess with the process."
Neither can the President. What you are suggesting would require Trump to tear down the separation of power, one of the first steps towards setting up a dictatorship, which would certainly result in an uprising (and perhaps the mentioned civil war) no matter whether people are in approval of those wars or not.

Also you should start by pointing out which laws they broke specifically (and whether they are punishable by death in the US, ignoring the fact that hanging isn't an established way to carry out a death sentence). "Crimes against humanity" are an issue of international law that aren't even remotely in the hands of either the US judicial system much less the president.

Alex said...

> @Alex: who questioned that Putin did some nasty stuff? How is it even related?

This is related because both Putin and Kim are equally evil but you treat them differently.

You wrote, and this is a quote: "the US must cut a deal with Russia and China and in this deal something must be given to them - for example, the acknowledgement of Crimea for Russia". How could it be understood other than you're directly supporting Putin?

In other words, you acknowledge that Putin is the criminal and still propose society to give Putin the part of my country to pacify him?

One more thing: you say that Kim wouldn't give up on nukes because of the lessons of the past (Iraq, Syria etc). What would be the lesson for Putin if the annexation of Crimea was acknowledged? Really curious to know what's your take on this.

Gevlon said...

@HarPer: he just have to declassify the documents proving that they were aware that Iraq has no nukes (or that they recklessly ignored evidence to come to the conclusion that it has). In case of Lybia, it's enough to declassify how they gave help to islamist terrorists as "rebels", knowing that these terrorists killed and wanted to kill more Americans. The courts will do their job. These criminals are currently protected by all evidence against them classified.

@Alex: Accepting realities and supporting them are different things. Also, the Crimea population is ethnic Russian, they are content with Putin. While I understand that Putin could have handled it differently, we must understand that:
- the people of Crimea and Donbass has the right to leave Ukraine, just like Slovaks and Czech had the right to split or the various nations of Yugoslavia. Forcing them to stay isn't better than what Milosevic did.
- Yanukovich was a democratically elected president who was removed by armed coup. Under him there was no civil war.
- Above all: there is peace and normal life in Crimea and only limited casualties in Donbass. Compare it with Syria, Lybia, Afghanistan or Iraq!

But the real question is "Will you accept his crimes against humanity only when Russian green men kick off HPR (Hungarian people's republic)". The answer is "I would much rather seen Putin's green men than Hillary's or McCain's in Hungary", exactly because the former can guarantee some oppressed but humane life, while the second cannot and has no intention to.

I don't love Putin. I simply accept him as an ally against Hillary-McCain, just as Stalin was accepted against Hitler.

Slawomir Chmielewski said...

@Alex
"Both Putin and Kim are equally evil". This is an insane statement. NK has millions of people in gulags and widespread starvation while their glorious leader is openly threatening a nuclear attack. What did Putin do? Allegedly killed a few journalists (considering the utter bias against him in the west I am totally agnostic about him actually doing it or not). There is no comparison whatsoever between the two.

As for the main topic: NK will have nukes eventually. Negotiations are pointless when the actors are as unhinged as Kim. It's purely logical: if we are afraid of him using or selling nukes we believe him to be unhinged, therefore we should not have any hopes for negotiated outcome. If we believe he's a rational actor then just let him have the nukes and not worry about it, as a sane person would not use them.

Everybody's afraid of attacking him now based on his ability to shell Seoul and cause thousands of casualties. Well, this is all the more reason to do it now before he has real nuke ICBMs and the capabilities to cause millions of casualties.

We have seen in the past how appeasement worked. It didn't. Announce an ultimatum to give up producing nukes or face a military action aimed at totally destroying their military potential (without ground troops). Announce that every soldier of every single artillery unit will be tried and executed if they send as much as a single shell towards Seoul. "I was following orders" will not be accepted as a defence. Then simply bomb every bridge, highway, industrial complex and power station in the country. In fact, simply power stations, power lines and rafineries would be enough to reduce them to acceptable technology level.

Alex said...

@Slawomir
"Allegedly", really? How about killing thousands of people in Chechnya, Georgia, Moldova, Donbass, Syria (don't tell me they don't) and in Russia: Boris Nemtsov, Alexander Litvinenko, Voronenkov just to name a few - these don't count? Annexation of several regions doesn't count? 14% of Russia's population live below the poverty line - isn't that a "widespread starvation"? Doesn't Russia have enough political prisoners - how's this different from Gulags? Downing of Malaysia's MH17 with nearly 300 souls on board - isn't that an act of terrorism?

Long story short: they are evil for different reasons (not THAT different actually) but they're equally evil in general.

Again, I'd ask anyone writing pro-Putin comments consider their own country in place of Ukraine, Georgia or Moldova - would your opinion about Putin and his actions change? If yes, then you probably have double standards.

Alex said...

@Gevlon

You tackled many topics at the same time - we wouldn't be able to have a good discussion if we tried to discuss all of them in parallel so let's cut the list. Most of the points you raise have been raised yet in 2013-2014 and I'm sure you know what I would write if I were to comment on them and I know what would you write to reply to my comments :)

So, as an intermediate summary: you're not a supporter of the criminal - you're his ally against Hillary. Doesn't sound any better to me, to be honest. At least I hope that from your position you don't condemn Stepan Bandera and his supporters who basically were just like you: they accepted Hitler as an ally against Stalin.

As the main topic of our discussion I propose my question: what lesson would Putin learn if the society acknowledged Crimea for Russia?

This question is related to this particular post and since you sound like a very logical person I'm really curious to know your take on this.

maxim said...

@Gevlon
Supressing the nukes is not the long-term answer, because that makes you the unjust opressor, infringing upon sovereignity of people who don't want anything to do with you.

Bowing out and executing your own elite in fear of nukes is, well, bowing out in fear and executing your own elite. You can only do it if you are a de facto totalitarian ruler in service of new ideology, giving up positions of old ideology not because you are a loser, but because the old ideology were losers. Trump showed a hint of a promise of that during his campaign trail, but now he is mostly a hot air baloon, devolving into self-maintaining war-mongering.

The long-term answer to third world countries mass producing the current generation of strategic weaponry is the same as always - have the next generation of strategic weaponry that renders current generation obsolote. I think we are 10-15 years away from that, my bets are on hypersonic weaponry. Everything else can be viewed as delay tactics at best.

maxim said...

@Alex
Chechnya enacted actual terrorism against russian civilians. The wars against them were fair (even if the first war was also amazingly corrupt, due to the political climate of the 90s). Please note that now Chechnya is one of the more prosperous regions, to the point of our opposition being openly envious of its new position.

Georgia tried to annex russian territories.

Moldova had and has no right to treat Transnistria the way it does. Not if human rights mean anything to you, anyway. Transnistria is also important to Russia, so it is perfectly in its right to support it.

In Syria, we are acting against ISIS and Al-Nusra, with the mandate of Syrian government, to much success. Were it not for our interventions, Syria would be another Lybia by now and the death toll would be an order of magnitude higher. For every person that died due to Russian actions, 10 more get to live.

I have no sympathy for Nemtsov. If you go into actual fights for power, where you get to decide people's lives, be ready to put your own life on the line. If you are not ready to put it on the line and are not ready to protect yourself - either know your place, or git gud, or do anyone a favor by undergoing a critical existence failure.

The fact that russian opposition sucks to the point of not being able to physically survive is not an indictment on the russian ruling elite, but is rather an indictment on the opposition.

Litvinenko basically painted a crosshair on himself. After saying what he said, his murder was beneficial to both the people he accused AND the people against those he accused (as a frame and provocation). Same with Voronenko. There is a reason why traitors are condemned and despised in all cultures, even in most liberal ones, regardless of current political climate.

Still haven't seen the actual irrefutable proof of MH17. Though i can see how thinking it is russian fault appeals to your other irrationally held beliefs.

There is no widespread starvation in Russia. "Below poverty line" means you can't buy vacations, but it is no Holodomor (which in itself is a myth).

I am considering my own country. We could do a whole lot worse than Putin. For example, we could have had Lebed. Or Zhirinovski. Wouldn't that be fun.

Incidentally, notice how none of this has anything to do with Putin personally. But i understand that in your mind everything needs to be tained as pro-Putin or against-Putin, because Putin to you is not an individual, but rather a demon, coloring all of your perception.

My condolences.

Slawomir Chmielewski said...

I'm using "allegedly" because I have no first-hand information and EVERYTHING in the western media is so rabidly anti-Putin that I can't trust any of it. He is no saint and I hate defending him from idiots, but he is no more Kim than Trump is Hitler.
If waging a war (or in the case of Syria, helping an attacked ally) is an act that puts one in the same moral position as Kim, then almost all leaders of all major countries are just as bad as Kim. Bush and Obama killed more people in Syria and neighbouring countries than Putin did.
The body count of Bush, Obama, Blair and Clintons are much higher than Putin's. Putin had much more reason for his adventures in the mentioned countries than the West in Libya or Iraq. Namely, all those countries were already in or on the brink of civil war and all those countries are currently reasonably stable. Look at the Middle East in comparison.


Antze said...

>> Boris Nemtsov

Wasn't killed by Putin.

>> 14% of Russia's population live below the poverty line - isn't that a "widespread starvation"?

No, it isn't. Starvation is when people die from hunger. Being below the poverty line is not. Open "Poverty in the United States" on Wikipedia and see for yourself: "In 2015, 13.5% (43.1 million) Americans lived in poverty".

>> Doesn't Russia have enough political prisoners

No, it doesn't. Magnitsky who died in 2009 was close to be one, probably there were a couple dozens more who didn't die. Yet it's different from Gulags - just a SINGLE labor camp is able to hold much more prisoners.

Information to consider: during Stalin's era many people in Russia had a friend / distant relative / knew someone personally who was in jail for political reasons. I believe the same stands for modern NK. This is not true for modern Russia.

>> Downing of Malaysia's MH17

Wasn't done by Putin.

So basically the only ones I can't comment about are Litvinenko and Voronenkov (who the hell is the last one anyway?). And yes, it's precisely "a few journalists". So no, Putin and Kim are not equally evil (still Putin is evil, but I don't think you know where his real "evilness" lies).

Chechnya, Georgia, Moldova, Donbass, Syria topics are omitted for brevity.

Slawomir Chmielewski said...

PS. There are no pro-Putin posts here, only anti-idiocy posts.

Gevlon said...

@Maxim: executing Hillary and Dick isn't to appease an enemy. Kim could easily be appeased by letting him have his nukes. It is to maintain some resemblance of US morality which is needed to upkeep US influence. No matter how powerful one is if viewed as evil. Hitler was powerful and all united against him and defeated him. Same awaits the US if Iraq and Libya repeat and they will repeat as long as those who benefit from it don't learn the hard way that this isn't acceptable.

@Alex: Putin already has Crimea, and the rest of the World made peace with this, only providing face-saving lol-sanctions. Putin took the conclusion that nationalism works and I can't really fault him. The optimal solution for Ukraine would have been peaceful and democratic separation of the national identities, forming a smaller, but Ukrainen-Ukraine, while ethnic minorities join their respective neighbors who pay for the transition.

He won, because he could stabilize his gains. The USA couldn't. If life in Iraq would be like in Crimea, I wouldn't have a problem with it.

Anonymous said...

@gevlon Why don't you recommend executing George W. Bush, who took the people to war in Iraq?

Alex said...

@Gevlon, you haven't answered my question for the second time. So, I'll just answer it myself: Putin's lesson would be that "Annex one region, put another on fire, trade later for former" works. And there will be no reason to not continue. That's the lesson you want Putin to learn?

Gevlon said...

@Anon: I believe he was misled into believing that Saddam has nukes, like most of the Congress and the public. Also, he is pretty obviously mentally unfit for trial.

@Alex: there is no point annexing regions with no Russian (or at least Russia-friendly) ethnicity. He would get rebellious and useless citizens. So his cycle ends when all Russian people are in Russia.

I'm fine with that scenario and you should be too. Keeping Russians away from Russia against their will is oppression. We should work on making these transitions fair to those who are not Russians.

Before you'd ask "what would I say if there were Russians in Hungary", read up what happened with Hungary after WWI.

Alex said...

@maxim

1. Chechen war started because they tried to separate from Russia
2. Georgia didn't try to annex russian territories and instead tried to claim back territories annexed by russia
3. No matter what a person did - he can not be killed without a charge and trial.
4. You've seen proofs. You just don't accept them but that doesn't change anything.
5. putin is the one in command so yeah, he's to blame for all the crimes committed by russia

But yes, Putin is not the only one to blame. People supporting putin and forming alliances with him and closing their eyes on his crimes are as guilty as putin.

But yeah, i had enough talks like this yet in 2014 and know they yield no result :) So this part of the discussion is pointless.

Alex said...

@Gevlon sorry, what you're saying is crazy (which is subjective) and not logical (which is objective). And trust me, even if I haven't checked how many russians are in Hungary now (which I did) after your comment this would be a pretty safe guess - not many.

I'm not fine with this scenario and you should not be. Because russia won't stop by itself - it only can be stopped. And now that's Ukraine who has stopped them and keeps them away.

And if you think about it (and i read your blog for several years already so i know you're smart) you'll realize that. That's simple: if your action brings you more reward than penalties you'll, just like the mouse who kept pushing the button that sends signals to reward center in her brain, keep repeating these actions. And if the old reason for annexation is no longer valid a new one will be found. And you know that. And having all the russians under one country is not the main goal - the main goal is to keep russian people's minds busy and that works. "I eat shit and don't have money for meds but CRIMEA IS OURS". What would Putin feed to them once (not gonna happen) Russia annexed all territories inhabited by "russians"? What would putin feed to them once there's nothing in Ukraine to be brave about (already not)? Syria? What would putin feed to them once there's nothing in Syria to be brave about (really soon)? Belarus? Romania? Hungary?

Alex said...

@antze

As I mentioned already, putin is not equal to Kim and the reasons why both are evil are different. But on a global scale of "evilness", if it existed, they'd be very close. And I'm sure that if putin could establish a regime similar to Kim's one he would. And, come one, don't you see that, he is trying and he's succeeding. At this pace, it is a matter of few decades before russia turns into yet another Northern Korea. IMHO.


maxim said...

@Gevlon
It took USSR actually stopping Hitler's Blitzkrieg (thus exposing his weakness), before "everyone" started really pitching in.
Morals only stand on their own in an ordered society. International relationships are not an ordered society. In fact, there aren't many ordered societies left.

Gevlon said...

@Alex: no, Ukraine couldn't stop Russia from marching to the Polish/Hungarian/Romanian border. What stopped him is that he reached the natural border of ethnic Russians. There is no point annexing land into Russia where no Russians live. Only people loyal to Russia are worthy to Russia. Ukrainens, held against their will would contribute negative power by sabotage, uprisings and asymmetric warfare. I'm sure your people would never submit to Putin and he knows that too. So it's not "Ukraine" (the army, the administration) but "people loyal to Ukraine" stopped Putin. This is what Hillary and Dick couldn't understand: they could capture Iraq and Libya but they couldn't capture its people.

Russia had 16700$/capita GDP in 2011, Ukraine had 7200 (last pre-war data). So "I eat shit and don't have money for meds" is a bit bold statement.

Also, Hungary had 19600, Poland 20100, Romania 12300, Belarus 14900, Slovakia 23400. So all of the neighbors of Ukraine are more rich (Moldova doesn't count, that's another debated zone). Maybe you should realize that having a multiethnic country isn't good. The sooner you let ALL ethnic Russians go with their fair share of land, the sooner you'll have a country where everyone wants to go the same direction, loyal to the country and work hard for it.

If Putin would ever attack a land with no ethnic Russians, he'd end up like Dick and Hillary: waste lots of soldiers, trillions of dollars for an unwinnable guerilla war. So he is either smart and don't attack or he is dumb and he'll lose.

Alex said...

@Gevlon How does Chechnya fit your list of "ethnic russians"? And Abkhasia and Nothern Ossetia? Are these people ethnic russian? And how many russian soldiers died in the Chechen wars? Did that stop putin from capturing it? Why do you think guerilla warfare and terror would stop him if that didn't stop him in the past?

He will eventually lose. The big question - where that happens. That may happen here, in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. That may happen in Poland or, who knows, Hungary. Don't forget that your country was nazi-allies (yeah, you accepted evil Hitler as ally against Stalin, i get that). Are you sure putin won't use this as an excuse for invasion? Remember very popular right now russian moto "we can repeat"? ;)

Antze said...

@Alex:

I tried to show that they have different positions on that scale, e.g., having a lot of people executed or put in labor camps (Kim) is very different to having a couple dozens slightly oppressed (Putin). Hell, the charade about Navalny is taking years and he's still free - couldn't happen in North Korea!

Before you say, he's also quite far from having a personality cult about him. A couple photos with him fishing or "uncovering amphoras from undersea" doesn't really count.

So far he's succeeding only with his foreign dirty affairs (that success is also questionable), but not with building anything really totalitarian inside Russia. Nasty, yes. Totalitarian, no. Also, check Gevlon's earlier posts where he mentions that modern Russia has no ideology, which I agree with - that makes Putin very distinct and distant from Kim.

Anyway, even if I'm wrong, Putin doesn't have "few decades", check his age.

Alex said...

@Antze:

To me the scale looks something like this:

Obama(joke) Almost everyone Putin Kim
__|_________|_____|______|_________________________________________________|____________|_>
Angel Neutral Evil

You could probably move Putin few positions right and left but that doesn't change anything. And as I already said multiple times - it is not about putin himself - it is about his supporters and allies. Putin dies - another one comes.

Nuclear weapon combined with the "russia raises from the knees", "our grandfathers fought", "Obama pisses in our houses", "Gayrope" (gay-Europe, not sure what's the best way to translate this) and with supporters or allies believing "putin will stop" russia with or without putin is evil. When putin's gone they will choose another guy just like him. Because good guy won't win.

Yaggle said...

Another big reason I think we (U.S.A.) may have a military action vs. N. Korea soon is that, the odds keep getting worse and worse as time goes on. N. Korea missiles keep getting better and like you say, it doesn't seem possible to negotiate them into giving up their nukes. Every year that goes by, a military exchange results in worse and worse outcome for U.S.A. We could lose millions now or hundreds of millions in a few years. At least now there is some hope that their missiles will fail and it won't be so bad. To think we would execute Cheney and Clinton instead of millions of civilians, well...... I doubt those in power decide to spare me.

Anonymous said...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolley_problem

maxim said...

@maxim
1. Everyone and their mom was separating from Russia during the fall of USSR. Chechen war started because then-leader of Chechnya (Dudaev) was handling relationships with Russia very VERY poorly. I mean terrorism against civilians level poorly. His own population didn't appreciate him to the level where rebels actually called in Russia to help out.
2. Since when is South Osetia a Georgian territory?
3. Who will guard the guards? Sorry, the buck has to stop somewhere. He fought for power and lost and paid for it.
4. Really? So what proofs have i seen then? Because i certainly don't remember seeing anything that would constitute proof beyond a shadow of a doubt of such a serious accusations.
5. You are doing a damn fine job of showing how your thought process is utterly corrupted by demonisation of Putin.

I would discuss with you the notion of the responsbility of people for their rulers, but you don't seem to have the presence of mind required for it.

If all the talks were pointless, there is a good chance that the issue is with you, not with the ones you had the talk with. Maybe you are just trying too hard to push false agenda?

Gevlon said...

@Alex: much more people died under Obama than Putin. Seriously, would YOU rather live in Doneck or Mosul?

Provi Miner said...

@ HarPer Hanging, electrocution, firing squad and lethal injection are all on the table:

as it would be the Hauge hanging is still available. In Utah firing squad is an option, FLorida and other states have the electric chair, and more than a few states have old hanging laws on the books.

Antze said...

@Alex: You should not mistake words of Russian Internet trolls for Russia's foreign policy. Putin never declared anything from your list, neither did any of his sidekicks. Your other word mashup is too hard to comment on. What do you imply, that it's not just Putin who's as evil as Kim, all Russians are? Majority of Russian voters want Putin to conquer the whole world in the name of their grandfathers?

Well... no.

maxim said...

@Alex
The previus @maxim answer was, obviously, @Alex. My apologies for this mistake. The value of this dicussion for me is to find weaknesses in my own arguments, so this is a bit of a Freudian slip :D

The "good guy won't win" mentality sounds good in propaganda. In practice, what it actually says is that "the guys we like are weak". Which is the crux of your problem, essentially.

Alex said...

@Gevlon Ok, you want to put Obama on the scale between Kim and putin? Fine, but that in now way changes the evilness of putin vs kim. Let me put it in a different way: there are very few bad and evil country leaders in the world and both putin and kim are in this group. Would you agree to that?

And again, you're ignoring inconvenient questions that don't fit your theory so i'll really appreciate if you answer them:
1. Do you count Chechens and people of so called Abkhasia "etnic russian"?
2. Russia had 2 wars with Chechens - very intense and bloody conflicts. Neither lack of peoples's support nor guerilla warfare stopped him. Would you agree that this contradicts to your statement that putin won't annex anything if there are chances of guerilla warfare?

To me the answers to these questions are:

1. No, they're not "etnic russians"
2. Yes, that contradicts

So, how these facts fit your claim that "putin will stop once all russians are in russia" and that "putin won't annex if there will be guerilla warfare"

Alex said...

@alex (i mean @maxim :))
1. Ah, I heard that multiple times before - protecting russian people, right? @Gevlon, here's another excuse for putin for annexation. 50000 russians in Hungary? One day that may be enough.
2. I didn't mean Ossetia is Georgia's territory but I acknowledge one could make such a conclusion from my words - my bad.
3. He didn't lose the game. He lost his life and who knows what would happen if he wasn't assassinated. putin killing his political opponents - do you find this ok?
4. I'm not going to jump into this - I had too many talks like this yet in 2014. First, you say there's no evidence, then, once presented, you say the evidence is either false or don't prove anything (haha, they took evidence from open sources, haha! How can you prove something by dash cam recordings and amateur photos!). Read the JIT report, everything's there.
5. That's because I do demonize him :) But even if I didn't - any country leader is responsible for country's actions. Note the names we discuss here: Kim, putin, Obama, Trump, Hillary. All of them are country leaders (or wanna be).

Alex said...

@antze Putin's primary propagandist Kiselyov did declare all of these claims, well, maybe except "Obama pisses in our houses" (but he did many times blame Obama and USA for many internal problems of Russia.

What I imply here is:
1. putin does lots of nasty stuff like supporting separatists in Donbas, annexing parts of other countries etc.
2. putin has very high rating so people support him and that means people support his actions

That means that majority of the population supports separatists in Donbas, the war in Ukraine, annexing parts of other countries. Which means they wouldn't vote for somebody who's strategy is very different from putin's. Which means that even when putin dies he'll be replaced by somebody else who'll continue doing what putin's doing.

I'm no Vanga and this conclusion is based purely on logic. A acknowledge there may be logical mistakes. Let me know if you see any.

Gevlon said...

@Alex: I only measure "evil" by people killed. Obama killed more people than Putin or Kim. I repeat my question: where would you rather live: Doneck or Mosul?

If Hungary had 50000 Russians who wants to leave, I would give them 0.5% of the country's land and wealth (as they are 0.5% of the population) and off they go to Russia!

Alex said...

@Gevlon, this approach is very limited and even though it may be used it would yield no valid results. Who's killed (good or bad guys) also matters a lot. A guy who killed 1 good guy is eviler than the one who killed 10 (100, 1000 - i don't know) bad guys.

I'd live in Doneck, so what?

Regarding Hungary - this would work only if your claim that putin only wants to get all russians into russia and he will stop after that. To me that claim is false and I'm trying to discuss this with you because I see no point discussing any actions or conclusions if we can't agree on the basics. If I thought that putin would stop after he got all the russians i'd probably agree with you.

So, what makes you think that putin only wants "ethic russian" and what makes you think that he's afraid of guerilla war? Examples from the past prove the opposite.

Gevlon said...

@Alex: who is a "bad guy" who can be killed? Who can decide? There is a reason why you can't go around and killing assumed pedophiles but must turn them in to the courts. One who says "I decide who is good and evil" is a dictator wannabe and evil by itself.

You'd prefer Doneck means that the one responsible for Doneck (Putin) is less bad than the one responsible for Mosul (Cheney who took it from Saddam and Hillary who let ISIS have it).

It doesn't matter what Putin wants. What matter is what he CAN do. If he'd try to assimilate people who aren't ethnic Russians or a small minority who doesn't care where he is minority (like the Tatars of Crimea), he'll get a guerilla war and he'll lose, just like the Americans lost to it.

Can you show me a "past example" where he successfully assimilated a hostile population?

Alex said...

@Gevlon

Past examples are Abkhasia and Chechnya. Neither country has "etnic russian" and at least in Chechnya there was a bloody guerilla war.


Now regarding the other points.
Who can decide who's good and who's bad? How about the international society (UN for instance) who says ISIS (and Assad) is bad? Who, actually, says putin is agressor.

But ok, let's take the death toll as an ultimate indicator of evilness, fine.

Syria's war took around 400k lives in total (https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Casualties_of_the_Syrian_Civil_War)

Russia's wars:
Chechen I: 30-100K (take 64k as average) CIVILIANS + 6K rus military + 12 chechen military (https://www.wikiwand.com/en/First_Chechen_War)
Chechen II: 25-200K (112k average) CIVILIANS + 8-40K (24k average) rus military + unknown chechen amount but given that rus/chechen ratio is the same we can safely estimate this number as around 48k (https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Casualties_of_the_Second_Chechen_War)
Georgia: "luckily" the death toll is not very high (if the death toll can be not very high) - around 1000 or so
Ukraine: in total around 12k (probably doesn't include russian mil)

We get (roughly) 270K. Then, Cheney probably in not responsible for a fair part of the 400K lives lost in Syria but even if he is- the numbers are of the same order and comparable and the war in Ukraine continues to take lives. And a took averages which may mean the actual number of casualties is way higher.

Two follow up questions:
1. How many Kim killed?
2. If we take the number of killed people as the main indicator of evilness - who's the evil?

Gevlon said...

@Alex: Kim is evil, no doubt here.
400K (Syria, Clinton) > 200K Chechenya (Putin)
Also, the rest of the wars of Putin had below 100K losses, while the Cheney-Clinton gang had Iraq too, near 500K.

But again, the ultimate question: would you rather live in Chechenya or Iraq?

Antze said...

@Alex

The guy, as far as I know, never called for conquering the world in the name of the grandfathers. He can't call for conquering Donbass or Ukraine either, exactly because the official Russian stance on the matter is "Russia is not being involved there". He's a propagandist without question, but his stance is only "Russia is good, Ukraine is bad". Also he's not seriously taken by many (well, not everyone).

>> there may be logical mistakes. Let me know if you see any.

There you go. There are facts: the majority of Russians support Putin, and Putin supports Eastern Ukrainian separatists. These facts do not necessarily mean that the one causes the other. Putin is supported for the mix of different reasons (one prominent reason is "everyone else is worse"), and his actions in Ukraine are not something he's praised for, but instead just something Russians can deal with.

@both Alex and Gevlon:

Russia is historically is multi-national country, so the definition of "ethnic Russian" is extensible. Chechnya has been a part of Russia for 150 years, therefore Russia's actions there were NOT "assimilating previously hostile population", they were basically the same anti-terrorist / anti-separatist operation which Ukraine tries to perform in Donbass, but ultimately a successful one.

The funniest thing here is that both Chechen wars were started by Yeltsin, not by Putin. Putin wasn't yet a president then. Hereby, checking historical facts just lowered Putin's frag count from 200K to 12K.

Alex said...

@Antze

Come on)) "Radioactive dust" (about US), "rotten Europe", "laughing Iskanders" (that deployed not on the Ukrainian border but in Europe) - all those are quotes are from that guy. Of course, he doesn't say directly - let's conquer the world. Actually, "russia is raising from its knees" is also his quote - can't find the video because it became a meme :)

It is quite easy to figure out what for people love putin - his rating has skyrocketed after the Crimea was annexed ))

Yes, putin didn't start first chechen war but he would - do you doubt that?

Funniest fact is that during the second war he was a prime minister during the second one and himself lead several operations against the "fighters" as an "energetic organizer" (quote from wiki) so he is definitely responsible for the "frag count" of the second war. Ok, not 270K but 200K. Still comparable to Cheney.

Alex said...

@Gevlon
You know that asking somebody to choose from just two answers is a manipulation, right? Have you stopped taking bribes from russia: yes or no? (that's not a serious question, just an example).

How come Kim is evil? How many people he killed?

But ok, if Putin-Cheney-Clinton-Kim are all pretty much the same (Cheney is probably not accountable for all the 400K deaths, putin himself probably killed like 50K in Syria - official numbers as of 2015 say russia has attacked 1100+ objects belonging to terrorists) why you ally with one of them? Can't you ally with somebody else, a good one, against all those bad ones? European leaders for instance - they have tensions with US, russia and Kim so they look like the ideal ally for you ))

Antze said...

@Alex

These quotes are so taken out of context that it's impossible to continue discussion. You should see the difference between "if US dares to attack our country, we'll turn them to radioactive dust" and "we'll turn them to radioactive dust just for fun", but apparently just those words alone prevent you from thinking clear. Russia raising from its knees is not a threat to anyone - Russia's own business.

>> his rating has skyrocketed after the Crimea was annexed

Yes, from 45% to 64%. And then from 64% to 72% when Minsk Protocol was announced which basically means "we will not annex Donbass the same way". This should make even the dumbest realize that the situation with Crimea was a special case in a way. I would normally stop here but since I'm not going to comment on this thread anymore, I will elaborate - even before 2014 in Crimea there were 2.5x more Russians than Ukrainians. After 2014 99.9% of the population willfully opted to take Russian citizenship. Only 3K (0.1% refused), 20K left Crimea, but 200K Ukrainians relocated to Crimea from Ukraine. That's NOT something a crime against humanity usually looks like.

>> putin didn't start first chechen war but he would - do you doubt that

In a way I do. He would definitely start it, but in a different way which would lead to much less deaths. In short, the First Chechen war is basically "Yeltsin sent a load of unskilled conscripts to Chechnya and got them all massacred". The Second Chechen war is - Yeltsin apparently wanted to repeat the fun, then Putin came to power, found someone relatively reasonable among Chechens (Kadyrov), attempted to reason with him, made some deals to stop the military action and finally succeeded. In 2000-2009 it wasn't a war anymore, just mopping up remaining criminals. Again, Chechnya is a prosperous region right now.

>> Ok, not 270K but 200K

You use plain wrong loss estimates (70K for 1CW, 200K for 2CW). I don't suggest to use official numbers (even though it's a reasonable approach) but the only place where >100K appears is wikipedia, "Second Chechen war", "Civilian casualties", "other estimates". If you take effort to read the sources you can easily see:

Source #1: "About 300,000 people have been killed during two wars in Chechnya over
the past decade, a senior official in the province's Moscow-backed
government said. [...] Abdurakhmanov's claim could not be independently verified."

Source #2: "Over 200,000 people have been killed in the Chechen Republic since 1994, the chairman of Chechnya’s State Council, Taus Djabrailov, told reporters on Friday..."

So:

* it's not statistics but just words of some politicians
* even the sources themselves emphasize these words cannot be verified
* it's not for 2CW, it includes BOTH Chechen wars combined
* even if 2CW had 200K losses (it doesn't), it was initiated by Yeltsin, therefore you CANNOT blame Putin for all 200K even if he led some operations

Hereby I depart.

Alex said...

@Antze farewell
Still, will comment on your post - just for a history.

On Kiselyov.
His words may be treated differently. I treat this like a hidden threat. In another episode, he says "rudeness directed towards russia has a nuclear dimension, too". And that's not about answering to a nuclear strike. Anyways, no point to continue this discussion.

On putin's rating
Levada Center data: On April 2014 - the next survey after the Crimea was officially annexed, the Putin's rating reached 82%. In January 2014 it was 65%. And then till the end of 2015, it stays in the range of 82-89% so no changes that would correlate neither to Minsk-1 nor to Minsk-2. The only significant change is a drop from 89 to 83 in august 2015 - the next month after MH17 was downed - well, at least that russian didn't appreciate. Ah, no, disregard - in the next 2 months it rose back to 88% - probably because people bought bullshit about spanish ATC, Ukrainian pilot Voloshin, Ukrainian BUK and airplane already carrying dead bodies :)

On Chechen War II
Chechen War II casualty count - i don't trust "official data", not one bit. After in the official press conference MoD shown a photoshoped image - no, no way i'd even trust it. I'd rather trust estimates of some international organization - like Amnesty International or UN or something else. Also, if you read my message you'd see that i don't estimate civilian casualties as 200K. I say that different reports range from 25 to 200k (i haven't even used 300K estimate that's on the same page) and used mid of the range as a rough estimate. Since all the numbers we tried to compare are rough estimates it only makes sense to compare their orders and orders match - it is hundreds of thousands of dead people in each case. Also, if i can't count Chechen war II for Putin because Yeltsin was a president at that time you equally can't count Iraq and Syria towards Cheney and Hillary because they were not PotUS